Show ContentsAdlam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Adlam is from the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name was given to a person who was a soldier. The surname Adlam literally means noble protector. The name was derived from the Old English adel helm which literally means "eagle shield." [1]

Another source claims the name was "from adel, meaning fine, noble, and ham, meaning a village or castle. " [2]

Early Origins of the Adlam family

The surname Adlam was first found in the county of Somerset in south western England where, it is said the family had been settled centuries before the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Adlam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Adlam research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1631, 1659, 1677, 1750 and 1823 are included under the topic Early Adlam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Adlam Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Adlam family name include Headlam, Adhelm, Eadhelm, Adelhelm, Addlam, Adlum, Adlam and many more.

Early Notables of the Adlam family

Notables of this surname at this time include:

  • Captain W. Adlam, who fought with the "Roundheads" (Parliamentarians) during the English Civil War of the 17th century; and Captain S. Adlam, who fought in the French wars in Canada
  • Major General William Adlam (1750-1823), fought in the American War of Independence, and the Napoleonic Wars

Ireland Migration of the Adlam family to Ireland

Some of the Adlam family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Adlam migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Adlam or a variant listed above:

Adlam Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Adlam who arrived at Nevis in 1670

Australia Adlam migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Adlam Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Adlam, English convict who was convicted in North Riding, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 27 September 1834, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Maria Adlam, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Confiance" [4]

New Zealand Adlam migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Adlam Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • H.S. Adlam, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ariel" in 1856
  • David Adlam, aged 27, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Adlam (post 1700) +

  • Lt. Colonel Tom Edwin Adlam (1893-1975), English soldier who was awarded the Victoria Cross in World War I
  • Adrian Adlam (b. 1963), British violinist, conductor and music educator
  • Major General William Adlam (1750-1823), English British Army soldier and artist

Hillcrest Coal Mine
  • Mr. Herbert Adlam (1887-1914), Welsh Timber Packer from Cardiff, South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [5]

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th August 2020). Retrieved from
  4. South Australian Register Wednesday 13th September 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Confiance 1854. Retrieved
  5. List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from on Facebook